Utah Target EVACUATED after it received a bomb threat for ‘turning its back’ on LGBT community after Pride collection walk back – store is one of several across Midwest to receive threats
- A Target in Layton, Utah, was evacuated after bomb threats were made against the store, and several others in Utah and Ohio, to local news stations
- Police said the threats were made from a ‘bonus email address’
- A local Ohio newspaper also received an email threatening five stores, claiming: ‘We will continue to bomb your Targets until you stop cowering…’
A Utah Target has been evacuated and a bomb squad has been called in after multiple threats were made against stores across the state and five in Ohio after the company’s annual Pride collection sparked fury.
A Layton Target – located at 810 West 2000 North – was evacuated after receiving multiple bomb threats. A bomb squad and a K9 unit were deployed to the store around 1pm, according to KUTV.
All staff and customers were directed to the parking lot.
Police said stores in Layton, Salt Lake, Taylorsville and Provo were threatened. Authorities became aware of the threats after local news stations received emails threatening danger and referencing the company’s new controversial Pride collection.
Five Targets in across Northeast Ohio and Pennsylvania were also threatened, according to Cleveland 19, who received a threatening email listing stores in Stow, North Canton, Boardman, Niles, Ohio and Monaca, Pennsylvania.
‘Target is full of [redacted] cowards who turned their back on the LGBT community and decided to cater to homophobic right wing, redneck, bigots, who protested and vandalized their store,’ the email to Cleveland 19 read. ‘We won’t stand idly by as the far right continues to hunt us down.
‘We are sending you a message, we placed a bomb in the following Targets,’ the email continued. ‘We will continue to bomb your Targets until you stop cowering and bring back your LBGT merchandise.
‘We will not be erased, we won’t go quietly.’
Cleveland 19 reported the threatening email to all local police forces and the FBI.
Layton Police Sergeant John Ottesen told KUTV that the threats made in Utah came from a ‘bogus email address.’
Target announced earlier this week that some products would be removed from their Pride collection.
It was after a series of angry mothers took to Twitter and TikTok to complain. Over the last few weeks, the retail giant has been reviled by families – particularly mothers – for putting transgender clothes, books and greeting cards in its stores.
Outrage and confusion sparked over a range of ‘tuck friendly’ female swimsuits, the company released a statement to insist the suits were only available in adult sizes.
‘Since introducing this year’s collection, we’ve experienced threats impacting our team members’ sense of safety and wellbeing while at work,’ Target said in a statement.
‘Given these volatile circumstances, we are making adjustments to our plans, including removing items that have been at the center of the most significant confrontational behavior,’ crisis communications manager Kayla Castaneda said.
The company did not specify which items had been taken off shelves. Many of the swimsuits, onesies and t-shirts that sparked outrage remain available online.
There is also growing outrage over its partnership with Eric Cullen, a British transgender man, whose brand Abprallen celebrates Satanism.
Target is selling two of the brand’s items – a $25 slogan sweater with the words ‘cure transphobia not trans people’ wrapped around a sword, an $18 ‘too queer for here’ tote bag, and a ‘we belong everywhere’ fanny pack that now appears to be sold out.
Eric – a transgender man – proudly shared photos of the collaboration on Instagram.
‘These have already got the transphobes infuriated with me and I feel like quite the celebrity to think that they believe this is all some big conspiracy and I have any power to brainwash anyone when I’m just some guy drawing pictures!’ he said.
A closer look at his other work reveals some more sinister material.
Badges with slogans like ‘Satan Respects Pronouns’, ‘Young, Queer and Willing’ and a lighter pin with the words ‘burn down the cis-tem’ are among other products.
He also models the ‘Satan respects pronouns’ t-shirt on an Instagram page while wearing BDSM-style horns and no pants.